Update: D3 issued the following statement regarding a Western release:
"Unfortunately I have no additional information that I can share about EDF4. The game is being released by D3 Japan and they will be handling the launch of the title in Japan. If more information becomes available to me, I'll be sure to keep you posted."
Original story: The fourth game in the beloved budget bug-shooting Earth Defense Force series has been announced by developer D3.
Earth Defense Force 2017 is coming to Vita on 27th September in Japan, according to a report by Dengeki PlayStation (via Siliconera).
EDF! EDF! EDF! There is one central thing you need to know about Earth Defence Force: it is not what people have come to believe they want from a videogame. Graphically it's last-generation, the animations are like watching stop-motion puppetry, the voicework sounds like extras from Baywatch reading the script of an Ed Wood movie, and the monsters appear to be based upon stock photography of insects.
There are many good reasons not to buy Earth Defence Force 2017.
You might not like shooters. Because if you don't like shooters, really, you're in the wrong place. Earth Defence Force is about shooting. It's just about shooting, in the same way Tetris is about rotating blocks and MMOs are about slowly getting alienated from your friends and family. Sure, as you progress it reveals itself to be a little smarter than it initially appears, but considering it initially appears to be as smart as soup, that's not really saying much.
You may believe that videogames should be making a serious attempt to become the primary narrative voice of the twenty-first century. Because Earth Defence Force 2017's plot would be summed up by its title if you added the rider "shoots an army of invading ants". There's minor cut-scenes and voice-overs about what area of the planet the invaders are trashing at the moment, but it's not exactly Tolstoy. Except it's actually the perfect plot for the game. It's a game about shooting. It tells you what to shoot, and the real narrative of the piece is How On Earth Am I Going To Kill That Thing With Legs The Size Of Manhattan Before It Steps On Me? And as far as stories goes, that's pretty compulsive.